WA’s new cash-for-containers initiative has seen more than 10 million containers returned in just 12 days – and paid out over $1 million to participants.
Since the scheme launched on October 1, West Australians have made almost 50,000 visits to Containers for Change refund points, returning an average 200 beverage containers per visit.
For each container deposited, recyclers can get 10 cents back. More than $30,000 of the $1 million raised through returns has been donated to charities and community groups.
“To the people of Western Australia, I say ‘thank you’ 10 million times — once for each container you have returned for recycling,” said Environment Minister Stephen Dawson.
“Every container returned means one more that is recycled, reducing litter, reducing landfill and contributing to a more sustainable environment.”
The scheme is not without detractors; when it was first launched, the Boomerang Alliance of 52 environmental groups criticised it for its “poor access.”
However, undeterred recyclers have attended the depot sites in droves.
West Australians have taken to the program even more enthusiastically than their Eastern state counterparts.
In 2017, New South Wales saw two million returns within the first week of launching. In 2019, Queensland saw five million within the first eight days.
The largest date of returns for the WA scheme was Saturday October 10, with 1,026,000 containers returned.